Kerala Chief Minister and senior Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader VS Achuthanandan on Monday drew flak for the party's debacle in the Lok Sabha elections.
The CPI-M two-day state secretariat meeting which ended in Thiruvanathapuram on Monday evening saw the majority fraction led by party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan attacking Achuthanandan for taking stands on issues that were contrary to the party's, leading to the poor show in the elections.
The meeting was held to take stock of the worst ever poll debacle in which the state's ruling Left Democratic Front saw its Lok Sabha tally slipping to a mere four from the earlier 19. Overall, the CPI-M's Lok Sabha tally has slipped to 16 from 43 in 2004, its worst ever electoral showing.
In the 15-member secretariat, the Vijayan faction enjoys near complete support and hence Achuthanandan was at the receiving end.
According to a party source, who was present in the meeting, Achuthanandan attributed the failure of the party to the SNC Lavalin multi-million rupees scam involving Vijayan.
He said the party's decision to ally with the People's Democratic Party led by Abdul Nasir Maudany, who was acquitted in the 1998 Coimbatore bomb blast case, also caused a severe dent to the LDF.
A minister and member of the secretariat told IANS that the report presented by Vijayan has been accepted.
"The three day state committee meeting beginning on Wednesday will discuss this," said the minister, wishing anonymity because the party had not authorised him to speak on the record.
CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat and senior politburo member S Ramachandran Pillai also attended the two-day meeting. At times when the Achuthanandan bashing crossed limits, they intervened to cool tempers, the minister said.
The rivalry between Vijayan and Achuthanandan, which began April 2006, reached its flash point when the central leadership suspended the duo from the politburo in May 2007 and then reinstated them in October of the same year.
The biggest casualty of the factional feud has been the functioning of the Achuthanandan government, which has completed three years of its five-year term.